Avron S. Spiro, PhD

Research Professor, Epidemiology

Avron Spiro
150 S Huntington Avenue


Dr. Avron (Ron) Spiro received his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies in 1982 from The Pennsylvania State University, specializing in adult development and aging and in developmental methodology. In 1986, he joined the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS), then at the Boston VA Outpatient Clinic, as a research psychologist and methodologist. In that position, he has studied the influences of health and disease on cognitive aging, and conducted longitudinal studies of personality, well-being, and mental health. He also works with the VA Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS), an ongoing study of dental health among NAS men. In 1998, the VA funded the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), which incorporated the NAS/DLS, now located at VA Boston Healthcare System in Jamaica Plain. Since 1993, Dr. Spiro has collaborated with researchers at the VA HSR&D Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research (CHOIR; formerly the Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research [CHQOER]). His work here focuses primarily on mental health, including PTSD and depression, and on patient-reported outcomes, including health-related quality of life. In 1987, Dr. Spiro was appointed Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Boston University School of Public Health, promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology in 2004, and to Research Professor in 2011. In 2011, Dr. Spiro was also appointed as Research Professor of Psychiatry at BU School of Medcine. Since 2001, he has been Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at BU’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine. In 2008, he received a Research Career Scientist award from the Clinical Science R&D Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in 2013 was awarded a Senior Research Career Scientist award. Dr. Spiro has been funded by NIH and VA. Currently, he is PI of an NIH grant on Lifespan Outcomes of Military Service, and is co-investigator on several projects funded by NIH and VA studying health, personality, cognition and aging. His current work involves (a) examining the effects of health and disease on cognitive aging, (b) modeling longitudinal changes in personality in relation to health, (c) examining the long-term effects of military service on health and well-being in later life, and (d) studying mental disorders and their impact on health and functioning.

Other Positions

  • Associate Professor, Health Policy & Health Svcs Research, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • Research Professor, Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine
  • VA Boston Healthcare System


  • Pennsylvania State University, PhD


  • Published on 10/1/2018

    Cahana-Amitay D, Lee LO, Spiro A, Albert ML. Breathe Easy, Speak Easy: Pulmonary Function and Language Performance in Aging. Exp Aging Res. 2018 Oct-Dec; 44(5):351-368. PMID: 30355179.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/23/2018

    Brady CB, Pless Kaiser A, Spiro A, Davison E, King D, King L. Late-onset stress symptomatology (LOSS) scale - short form: development and validation. Aging Ment Health. 2018 May 23; 1-9. PMID: 29791189.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/1/2018

    Brailey K, Mills MA, Marx BP, Proctor SP, Seal KH, Spiro A, Ulloa EW, Vasterling JJ. Prospective Examination of Early Associations of Iraq War Zone Deployment, Combat Severity, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder with New Incident Medical Diagnoses. J Trauma Stress. 2018 Feb; 31(1):102-113. PMID: 29513919.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/8/2018

    Marioni RE, McRae AF, Bressler J, Colicino E, Hannon E, Li S, Prada D, Smith JA, Trevisi L, Tsai PC, Vojinovic D, Simino J, Levy D, Liu C, Mendelson M, Satizabal CL, Yang Q, Jhun MA, Kardia SLR, Zhao W, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Hernandez DG, Singleton AB, Harris SE, Starr JM, Kiel DP, McLean RR, Just AC, Schwartz J, Spiro A, Vokonas P, Amin N, Ikram MA, Uitterlinden AG, van Meurs JBJ, Spector TD, Steves C, Baccarelli AA, Bell JT, van Duijn CM, Fornage M, Hsu YH, Mill J, Mosley TH, Seshadri S, Deary IJ. Meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies of cognitive abilities. Mol Psychiatry. 2018 11; 23(11):2133-2144. PMID: 29311653.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 1/1/2018

    Avron Spiro III, Richard A. Settersten, Carolyn M. Aldwin (Editors). Long-term outcomes of military service: The health and well-being of aging veterans. American Psychological Association. Washington DC. 2018.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 11/26/2017

    Prada D, Colicino E, Power MC, Weisskopf MG, Zhong J, Hou L, Spiro A, Vokonas P, Brennan K, Herrera LA, Schwartz J, Wright R, Hu H, Baccarelli AA. Corrigendum to "APOE e4 allele modifies the association of lead exposure with age-related cognitive decline in older individuals" [Environ. Res. 151 (2016) 101-105]. Environ Res. 2018 08; 165:504. PMID: 29183624.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/19/2017

    Clouston S, Pietrzak RH, Kotov R, Richards M, Spiro A, Scott S, Deri Y, Mukherjee S, Stewart C, Bromet E, Luft BJ. Traumatic exposures, posttraumatic stress disorder, and cognitive functioning in World Trade Center responders. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2017 Nov; 3(4):593-602. PMID: 29201993.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/7/2017

    Kilbourne AM, Schumacher K, Frayne SM, Cypel Y, Barbaresso MM, Nord KM, Perzhinsky J, Lai Z, Prenovost K, Spiro A, Gleason TC, Kimerling R, Huang GD, Serpi TB, Magruder KM. Physical Health Conditions Among a Population-Based Cohort of Vietnam-Era Women Veterans: Agreement Between Self-Report and Medical Records. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2017 Nov; 26(11):1244-1251. PMID: 28783423.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/22/2017

    Graham EK, Rutsohn JP, Turiano NA, Bendayan R, Batterham PJ, Gerstorf D, Katz MJ, Reynolds CA, Sharp ES, Yoneda TB, Bastarache ED, Elleman LG, Zelinski EM, Johansson B, Kuh D, Barnes LL, Bennett DA, Deeg DJH, Lipton RB, Pedersen NL, Piccinin AM, Spiro A, Muniz-Terrera G, Willis SL, Schaie KW, Roan C, Herd P, Hofer SM, Mroczek DK. Personality Predicts Mortality Risk: An Integrative Data Analysis of 15 International Longitudinal Studies. J Res Pers. 2017 Oct; 70:174-186. PMID: 29230075.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/27/2017

    Lee H, Aldwin CM, Choun S, Spiro A. Does combat exposure affect well-being in later life? The VA Normative Aging Study. Psychol Trauma. 2017 Nov; 9(6):672-678. PMID: 28447816.

    Read at: PubMed

View 207 more publications: View full profile at BUMC

View all profiles